Clarkson, teammates bust out of slumps in Leafs' 5-2 win over Islanders

Tuesday, 11.19.2013 / 9:55 PM The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Phil Kessel scored a pair of goals as the Maple Leafs beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Tuesday for Toronto's second win in a row.

Trevor Smith, Mason Raymond and David Clarkson also scored for the Maple Leafs (13-7-1). Jonathan Bernier made 36 saves for the win.

Smith had a three-point night, as did Joffrey Lupul who had three assists.

Casey Cizikas and Frans Nielsen replied for New York (8-11-3). Kevin Poulin stopped 19 shots in the loss.

Toronto opened the scoring just 22 seconds in the game.

Lupul carried the puck along the right side into the Islanders zone. As he was about to go around the net he snuck a pass to the side of the net, catching Poulin moving the other way and Smith easily tapped the puck in.

The game remained 1-0 until midway through the second period.

With Cal Clutterbuck off for tripping, Kessel took a pass from Lupul, curled inside the Islanders blue-line and snapped a shot from inside the right circle past Poulin's blocker hand.

It was Kessel's team-leading 11th goal of the season.

Toronto kept New York off the board until there were 11 seconds left in the second period. Cizikas got a breakaway behind the defence, deked to his left and slid the puck through Bernier's legs to cut the Leafs' lead to 2-1.

Toronto regained its two-goal lead 3:39 into the third period.

A mix-up at the New York blue-line by the Islanders defence gave the Leafs short a 2-on-0 break. Nikolai Kulemin was stopped by Poulin, but Raymond was able to backhand the rebound in for his eighth goal of the season.

Clarkson put the game away at 12:52, snapping a shot top corner by Poulin's glove hand.

It was Clarkson's first goal as a Maple Leaf.

Nielsen cut the lead to 4-2 at 15:14, but Kessel snapped home his second of the game — 12th of the season — less than two minutes later on a 2-on-1 break with James van Riemsdyk to make it 5-2.

Notes: Nazem Kadri sat out the third and final game of his three-game suspension…Announced attendance was 19,446.

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